In my city of Ottawa, there is a lot of art to appreciate. Since Ottawa is the capital of Canada, we are fortunate to have a National Gallery of Canada. It’s located near our downtown core. It’s a fancy prism, chandelier, castle like structure. I appreciate the architectural design.
While in elementary and high school, we would visit the gallery on occasion. I was always wide-eyed while gazing in wonder at the magnificent pieces of art. But from an early age, me and my classmates would quickly call out the terrible art. “What the heck is this? What the heck is that?”
We were befuddled by striped lines that extended vertically for more than 30 ft. It was contrived and absurd to look at these objects. To claim such a thing was art was inconceivable to me. If they could not kid an 8-year-old, they fool me less-so with their art at my age today. Most of this art I speak of is dubbed “Modern Art.”
I appreciate art. Great art. I always have and continue to do so. I have some art history books and a book on Michelangelo. I enjoy exploring pieces of European art on the internet. It’s incredibly inspiring, when I learn of these different pieces. I interpret the “different” art and I think of European art on one hand and gauge the art of today, I begin to ask the question.
Why is modern art so terrible? I’m not being sarcastic or facetious. It’s really bad. Looking through my art history book I compare primitive art versus modern art. There is more merit with some primitive work than modern works. That’s how it seems. And I don’t just speak of paintings here. I’m talking sculptures, installations and everything in between. Modern art is an eyesore.
I know I’ll get flak for this. While people will begin asking me: What about this? What about that? “There’s some good modern art, dude.” There will be exceptions so in as they have an objective aesthetic that is high value. Most modern art is to raise eyebrows. Typically, modern artists hold the notion “I can’t do the best art, so I’ll just give them an emotional rise.” This exercise of the modern artist is transient and juvenile. Art should leave an immaterial, insightful or transcendent quality.
Art I see tend to be socio-politically motivated and or destructive and regressive. You can still like “modern art” but to hold it to the standards and caliber of giants and works in national galleries is mendacious. It’s absurd.
Where art peaked is debatable. I particularly like art from the renaissance, romantic and baroque periods. As traditional values decay, so does art. In my opinion, wherever civilization peaked in terms of values and principles, the higher the art. People become disenchanted when realizing that great art is typically done in the name of faith – religion. You can see this from music, painting, sculptures to books. The achievements in high art typically have a religious aspect.
Now, I visit galleries with a friend and it’s more or less the same. The great art has its own space. Modern art is raising eyebrows, leaving the people with nothing, an emptiness. The complimentary art for the modern man. The exceptions are few.
Since the western world is becoming more secular, “relativist,” “inclusive,” and “tolerant” the degree of objective good of art degrades. We may have been divorced from God, but at what price to Art culture?
As Terence Mckenna would say, on relativism “Relativism is the inability to differentiate between S**t and Shinola.” When artists pat each other on the back for crummy work – we have lost. I think artists should aspire for an objective standard. All this relativism and “equalism” lowers the bar of the aesthetic. It’s plain to me, everyone is getting a trophy for trying. Artists should aim higher than the transient, mediocre, overly celebrated forms of modern “art.”
It is a kind of cultural programming degrading our sense of art and our senses themselves. Promoting objectively bad work and giving favorable public opinion. But that is a topic for another day.
Here I leave you with a video from Prager University – an extension of my thoughts. I urge you to check out their other videos and subscribe, their videos are noteworthy.